What exactly is a Chocolate Biscuit Wedding Cake…?

Rule Brittania. April 29, 2011 (photo credit Barry Barnett)

I can’t tell you anything  new about THE wedding, you know that William and Kate are now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, that the Queen wore yellow, William red, Kate’s dress was beautiful, (lace is now De rigueur dahling), the ladies hats were splendid, we shared the Middletons pride,  loved the rows of trees in Westminster Abbey, and agree that the British Royals are skilled at putting on a pageant.  As in a fairy tale when a prince marries his Cinderella, the young couple rode along Whitehall in a 1902 open horse-drawn carriage, followed by the household cavalry guards in their beautifully colorful tunics and crazy helmets, riding black horses.

In an American wedding they would’ve been in a car with bullet proof windows,  surrounded by secret service men in dark suits and earpieces, standing on the running boards of the car, running next to the car… Blech!

I don’t have permission to use any of the official wedding photos, which you’ve already seen anyway but I  love the photograph on the front page of the L.A. Times on Saturday April 30, 2011 taken by Matt Dunham, of Associated Press: the newly weds on the balcony at Buckingham Palace oblige the crowd with a *kiss*, while at the bottom left of the photo standing next to Kate one of the little bridesmaids – I think her name is Grace van Cutsem – scowls, her hands covering her ears. Priceless!

I am delighted to share a few pictures taken on the wedding day in the south of England by Barry Barnett.

Some of the hundreds of souvenir items put out for the wedding.

Westminster Abbey and Royal Wedding Tea (photo credit Barry Barnett)

The £5.99 tin is for 25 tea bags from Ahmad Tea.
According to my sources, Yorkshire Tea which is a very fine tea, “one of the best”, never costs more than £2.50 for 180 bags.

Betty Boop "Always"

I’m sure many of you are wondering what exactly is in Prince William’s favorite Chocolate Biscuit Cake, and whether it has anything to do with biscuits and gravy biscuits! I’m happy to oblige with the recipe courtesy of Darren McGrady, and oprah.com

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

Recipe courtesy of Darren McGrady
The Royal Chocolate Biscuit Cake


Servings: Makes one 6-inch round cake (8 portions)
  • 1/2 tsp. butter , for greasing
  • 8 ounces Rich tea biscuits
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter , softened
  • 4 ounces granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate , for the cake
  • 1 egg
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate , for coating
  • 1 ounce chocolate , for decorating
To make cake:Lightly grease a 6″ x 2 1/2″ cake ring and place on a tray on a sheet of parchment paper.Break each of the biscuits into almond-size pieces by hand and set aside.Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until the mixture starts to lighten.Melt the 4 ounces of dark chocolate and add to the butter mixture while constantly stirring.Beat the egg into the mixture.

Fold in the biscuit pieces until they are all coated with the chocolate mixture.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake ring. Try to fill all of the gaps on the bottom of the ring because this will be the top when it is unmolded.

Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

To coat and decorate: Remove the cake from the refrigerator and let it stand while you melt the 8 ounces of dark chocolate.

Slide the ring off the cake and turn it upside down onto a cake wire.

Pour the melted chocolate over the cake and smooth the top and sides using a palette knife.

Allow the chocolate to set at room temperature.

Carefully run a knife around the bottom of the cake where the chocolate has stuck to the cake wire and lift it onto a tea plate.

Melt the remaining 1 ounce of chocolate and use to decorate the top of the cake.

  • For more on Darren McGrady and his book Eating Royally,           TheRoyalChef.com

William and Kate (photo credit Barry Barnett)

I may be LITTLE (photo credit Barry Barnett)


About dearrosie

We think we need so much, when all we really need is time to breathe. Come walk with me, put one foot in front of the other, and get to know yourself. Please click the link to my blog - below - and leave me a comment. I love visitors.
This entry was posted in Families don't you love them, Photography, Tutto va bene and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to What exactly is a Chocolate Biscuit Wedding Cake…?

  1. souldipper says:

    I’ve just put your blog on Face Book because I think there are lots of people wondering about the Chocolate Biscuit Wedding Cake! Lace is nice but chocolate is downright essential! Thanks, Rosanne!

    • dearrosie says:

      Thank you for promoting my blog souldipper.
      If your hair’s a la Kate, your dress is lace a la Kate, then your wedding cake must be royal too, but in North America “biscuits” are not something you’d put in a cake so I though I’d oblige with the recipe, and as you say chocolate is essential.

    • Reuben says:

      You said it, Souldipper! Lace is nice but Chocolate is Forever! I remember the first time I tasted a McVities Chocolate Digestive biscuit. Dark Chocolate, Assam tea. I couldn’t decide whether to – please excuse the crude expression “shit or go blind” – but nothing else seems to work as well…! London, 1972. Fresh faced colonials, tea in Highgate, in dear J and D’s flat, from assorted pottery mugs, a plate of biscuits and the crucial melt-point test: how long do you dunk it in the tea before the chocolate starts to melt and the biscuit starts to disintegrate into the bottom of the cup? (Can I have another little toke of that please?) . This definitely dates a person. I would enjoy some of that Cake, probably more than the Lace, that tittilates but inevitably does not satisfy! – mmmmm!

  2. theonlycin says:

    Hello Rosanne, I came here because Amy (souldipper) put a link on my Facebook page. I’d like to make this cake immediately, but I am in South Africa and have never heard of Rich tea biscuits; can you describe them so that I can source a local substitute?

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi and welcome the onlycin. I was in South Africa last month and have written about my trip and shared a few photos on my blog to show that you live in a beautiful part of the world.

      I think I should explain that what the British call a “biscuit” is what we in North America call a “cookie’. So a Chocolate Biscuit Cake = Chocolate COOKIE cake.

      I thought Rich tea biscuits were Digestive biscuits (you can get them plain and with chocolate) but my sister told me that she thinks there is a biscuit called Rich Tea. Can anyone help answer the question?

      • theonlycin says:

        I asked on Facebook and a British friend who lives in SA told me that our version are called Marie Biscuits 🙂

      • dearrosie says:

        I know Marie biscuits – they’re called “Maria’s” here and I like them – but although I haven’t tried a Rich Tea I do not think they’re the same as a Rich Tea.

    • dearrosie says:

      So I think in answer to your question – find a shop selling British biscuits.

  3. HEhe, I’ve had a real chocolate cake at a wedding a few times, it’s so much better than the fruit cake!

    • dearrosie says:

      I guess more of us are going to be served chocolate cake at weddings now. While I look forward to it, I also love a good piece of fruit cake so I’m with Prince William. I’d also have to have two wedding cakes.

  4. Colleen says:

    Awesome blog post! I also got the recipe from the same website and will be trying it soon. I have a very similar one that I do make so I know this will be good. Have a good week xx

  5. shoreacres says:

    I think it might have been exactly at the moment the newly-married couple emerged from the Abbey that I received my email from the Vermont Country Store, touting their wonderful tin of biscuits emblazoned with the official photo of the Royal Couple.

    Perhaps they hit “send” at exactly that moment to catch their potential customers in the midst of a big “Awwwwwwww…..” Now I’m sorry I didn’t order any. I could have made the cake!

    • dearrosie says:

      So have you ordered the tin of biscuits? I wonder what kind of “biscuits” they packed inside. Does it matter? Do people just buy it for the official photo?

  6. lovely post.keep it coming.Meanwhile plz do pass by my blogs page read,
    follow and comment to aid me improve my works too.Thank you.Lovely day.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    It looks delicous!!!Now, let me just go find the dairy-free, gluten free, egg free eqivalent haha. Oh dairy, how I miss thee. Thank goodness I can still eat dark chocolate!!

    • dearrosie says:

      Elizabeth so many people have food allergies I’m sure you’ll soon be eating the dairy-free, gluten free, egg free equivalent of the cake

      YES YES YES thank goodness for dark chocolate 🙂

  8. shoreacres says:

    Several companies make rich tea biscuits. McVities makes them, and Cadbury. I’ve gotten them in the British section of our market, and they’re available pretty widely. They are thinner and crisper than the shortbreads like Lorna Doones.

    You can find more info here.

    • dearrosie says:

      Thanks so much for explaining it all to us shoreacres.

      I went to Ye Olde British Shoppe in Santa Monica this afternoon to photograph their wedding souvenirs, see what the £5.99 tin of Ahmad tea bags costs over here, and check out Rich Tea Biscuits.

      The biscuits were on the shelf right by the front door: next to the Chocolate Digestives, and Plain Digestives, were packets of McVitties Rich Tea Biscuits. Silly me, I didn’t think of buying a packet!

      When I asked where the wedding souvenirs were the owner of the shop told me they’d only sold mugs and plates, “But nothing’s left. It’s all sold out!”
      “No tins of tea?” I asked.
      “Tea?” she said. “Did they make such a souvenir?”

    • dearrosie says:

      Shoreacres I just checked out the link for rich tea biscuits. Wow its so interesting. Thank you. I quote:

      “Rich tea biscuits are sweet and slightly crisp biscuits that perfectly accompany a cup of tea. Like biscotti for coffee, the rich tea biscuit is meant for dunking, but unlike biscotti, one dunk is the maximum as the rich tea biscuit is slender and crumbles easily when wet”

      I had no idea the British had a dunking biscuit. One learns such important stuff chatting to friends on blogs! Now I’ve got to go get hold of a packet. Or better still, can I come for tea Barry?

  9. Barry says:

    Never heard of rich tea biscuits? That’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. What do South Africans dunk in their tea?

    • dearrosie says:

      Hey Barry nice to hear from you. South Africans dunk RUSKS in their tea,
      but don’t confuse the S. African rusk with the teething thingies called rusks. Those are simply dreadful.

  10. Pingback: NoMU procrastinating; get on with it! « The only Cin

  11. Reuben says:

    Wikipedia says the following: “A Marie is sweet biscuit similar to a Rich Tea. It is made with wheat flour, sugar, vegetable oil and, unlike the Rich Tea biscuit, vanilla flavoring. The biscuit is round and has its name engraved into its top surface. The edges of the top surface are also engraved with an intricate design. While the Rich Tea biscuit is the most popular version of this biscuit in the United Kingdom, it is the Marie version that is most popular in most other countries, particularly Portugal, Mexico, Australia, Pakistan, India, South Africa, and Spain. Like the Rich Tea biscuit, many consider the Marie’s plain flavor to make it particularly suitable for dunking in tea. Other popular methods of consuming the biscuit includes using two to make a sandwich with butter and marmite or condensed milk spread in between, covering it with golden syrup, and crumbling it up in custard and jelly. Marie biscuits are frequently served to children. Babies may be served the biscuits softened in milk as their first solid food. Marie biscuits are also a common ingredient in home baking recipes. In Spain, Natilla custard is typically served with a Maria on it.” My primal delight is a Bakers’ Marie biscuit, the secret ingredient in Chopped Herring South African Style. The story behind Bakers Biscuits of Durban, South Africa, is an interesting slice of the history of colonial South Africa, the Republic it became and the New South Africa it is now. http://www.bakers.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4&Itemid=8

    • dearrosie says:

      Thanks to Reuben we now know that Rich Tea Biscuits are the same as Maria/Marie cookies. I have a packet in my pantry, which we buy at either the Italian deli or the Mexican supermarket.
      I’ve never dunked them Barry because they get so soggy too quickly.
      I don’t know about y’all but I find I cannot just eat one. Or two. I usually end up eating half a dozen.

  12. Barbara Rodgers says:

    The cake sounds yummy – must be something extra special about the tea biscuits… Will have to head to Mrs. Bridges’ Pantry (a British tea shop in Woodstock, Connecticut, USA) one of these days to find them – thanks for posting the recipe!

    • dearrosie says:

      The cake does sound deelish eh? I can’t imagine what kind of texture broken Rich Tea/Maria cookies would give to a cake.
      Let us know what you think when you finally get to taste THE biscuits

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